published Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

TBI probes missing seized weapons in Athens, Tenn.

The TBI is investigating a couple of missing seized weapons at the Athens Police Department at the request of its police chief.

"We turned our information over to the district attorney's office last Tuesday," Chief Chuck Ziegler said Monday.

Ziegler said the investigation does not involve any current staff members. He said he couldn't talk about any further details.

The state agency is looking into "a particular matter" involving the police department, District Attorney General Steve Bebb told the Daily Post-Athenian newspaper in Athens.

"We don't know that anybody did anything wrong," Bebb told the paper.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine said in an email Monday that the investigation in Athens requested by Bebb on behalf of the department "centers on two weapons seized by authorities in a case several years ago that cannot be located."

He could not say to what cases the seized weapons are related.

"We are trying to determine whether they are simply missing or stolen from the police department," DeVine said.

Bebb requested the investigation of the TBI on April 29, the same day the information was obtained from the police department.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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